I recently gave a presentation at my networking group Westborough Women's Collaborative on the benefits of yoga. As I wrote my presentation wanting to give some background information I realized I have been practicing yoga for almost 13 years. When I look back at the benefits I personally have gotten from my yoga practice and those changes I have seen in my students over 10 years of teaching I was amazed.
The style of yoga I teach is called Svaroopa® Yoga, and we believe that all of the tensions begin at the tailbone, in the muscles at the very base of the spine. When the muscles around the tailbone are tight it creates a domino effect of problems going both up your spine as those muscles tighten and down into your legs and feet. The reverse is also true. Every time you release the muscles surrounding the tailbone and carry that release higher up the spine you get a domino effect of less tension in the body, better health, easier breathing, more strength, stamina and flexibility. We call this core opening and those are just a few of the physical benefits.
For me the biggest and most important changes that I have gotten from my yoga practice are those for my mind. My mind is quieter, not so busy all of the time. I fall asleep more easily and stay more soundly asleep. I am better able to handle the stress that comes up in my life. Core opening of your deep spinal muscles gives you this and much more.
Yoga benefits the body and the mind. After 13 years of practice I can honestly say it is a habit, and it is a practice I can continue for many years to come. Many other physical practices like running or biking people have to eventually give up because of physical limitations. My yoga practice just keeps getting better and deeper the longer I do it, and I plan to practice for another 13 years and more!